To assuage the fear that Sikhs are unsafe in Kashmir after they received threat letters, Muslim head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who also heads All Parties Hurriyat Conference, has proposed a Sikh-Muslim committee.
“The imams of mosques have been asked to keep in touch with the Sikhs in their respective areas in this connection. Sikhs are part of this society. Those who pasted threatening letters to Sikhs are not part of this movement. It’s handiwork of those miscreants who want to create confusion and project this just movement as communal one. There is no threat to Sikhs from those who are participating in the present movement,” said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Farooq met a delegation of Sikhs on Wednesday and drafted a plan to safeguard. “Muslims and all other communities are living here in a cordial atmosphere but some government agencies for their vested interests try to create a wedge between the two communities and such efforts would not be allowed to succeed.
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, who was released after two months on Wednesday, too has assured to protect the minority community. “Last year there was a minor skirmish between Sikhs and some locals. We intervened and pacified the matter. This time again we will do whatever it takes to protect the minorities in Kashmir,” said Malik.
The largest opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) welcomed the head priest’s initiative.
“We welcome any move by religious figures to take preventive measures and make the masses aware about the mischief mongers. Sikhs are safe in valley. See how Amarnath yatra passed off peacefully despite trouble in Kashmir,” said PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar.
Sikhs of the valley have welcomed the Mirwaiz’s move. “We are convinced that those who issued threat letters have nothing to do with the Mirwaiz ot Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Now that the Mirwaiz has taken the initiative, it will go a long way to educate masses against the miscreants,” said Jagmohan Singh Raina, a Sikh leader.